So here we are, already getting into the middle of February.
A bit like in the middle of a long race I kind of 'zoned out' with my blogging in these cold months.
January started out great. After a few days off at the end of December, I hit the ground running in 2010. I'd clocked 100 miles in the first 10 days, well on track. By the middle of the month I started getting some pain on the outer side of my left foot. I started getting paranoid it was a stress fracture, but after spending more time at the Newton Labs I realized it was being caused by tight tendons down the outer side of the leg.
More rolling, and a few extra days off. I decided to go ahead with a 5K in City Park that I'd run the previous year - the 'Run for the the Dream'. I wanted to get a time to get me into the AA wave of the Bolder Boulder, and the relatively flat course in City Park seemed ideal. The race went well - I maintained a 6.15 pace, easily inside the time I needed and came 3rd overall, 1st in my age group. Unfortunately the course was long. Most races use the same course in City Park, so I knew immediately the finish was in the wrong place. I spoke to the organizer afterward and he confirmed that they'd made it a tenth of a mile longer by mistake. GRRR. I still ran a PR - 19.57, but with that extra 10th of a mile I missed the time I needed by a few seconds. In reality the time was around 19.25 if you adjust for the extra distance, so it tells me there's PRs to be had again this year.
My foot was still gimpy, so I took the rest of the weekend off.
Following advice from runners on the Boston boards, I decided to get a sports massage. Both the foot, and my previous knee issues, were caused by tight tendons. Getting into a semi-regular massage program might be the preventative maintenance that I was looking for.
On January 18th I saw Steve Lynn. He spent an hour on my legs and things felt good. He told me to drink water afterward, which I did a little, but didn't think too much of it. The next morning I woke up with flu like symptoms in my legs. I figured it was just the massage and went to work, but by midday my whole body was going downhill. I ended up taking the rest of the week off work sick in bed. No running - unless you count the multiple repeats I was doing to the toilet...
I later learned that some people can have this type of reaction to a deep tissue massage. The lymph fluid, and general 'gunk' that's been stored for years in the muscles is released, causing the immune system to go into overdrive. Friends told me that I needed to drink copious amounts of water, and even cleansing detox tea to avoid this the next time.
The foot, and sickness had put a big dent in things. I'd run 100 miles in the first 10 days of the month, and then just 26 in the next 13. Fortunately with my foot issue under control with constant rolling, and the sickness finally at bay, I was able to get back to it. I ran 75 miles over the last 8 days of the month to just achieve the 200 mile / month target.
Not the way I'd hoped to start the year, but I feel that I'm learning more about my body and how running impacts it.
I see a lot of runners out and around Stapleton, and after speaking to a few, realized there might be interest in a local running club. An alternative to the existing offerings that require monthly memberships. I created a yahoo group, a simple website (www.stapletonrunners.com), and had some business cards printed to hand out to runners that I see out. We started off with some 'fun runs' at the weekend. Still early days - we have 20+ people in the yahoo group, but only 3 or 4 have shown up for runs. As the weather warms up, I'm hoping this can develop into a reasonable sized group spanning beginners to sub 3 hour marathoners. I've given cards to people in both camps.
February has started off well. 11 days in and I should pass the 100 mile mark today, with 2 rest days included. I don't want to tempt fate, but my knees and foot seem to be under control. It's a struggle to get up early for some of the long mid-week runs that Pfitz is calling for (15 yesterday, 13 tomorrow), but so far I've just about managed to juggle the work and running.
Just 67 days until Boston...